Lahore : Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high level meeting here today which reviewed in detail new financial year budget 2017-18 especially priorities of agriculture sector.
Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that next fiscal year budget will be reflective of aspirations of the people of the province and added that mega programme of speedy development and prosperity of people will further be forwarded. Relief will be given to the people of the province in the budget in the real sense, he added.
Shahbaz Sharif said that agri sector is of paramount importance in the development of economy and national economy can be set on solid foundations by promoting this sector.
He said that our large population is also associated with this sector and with a view to this purpose; development of agriculture and prosperity of farmers is among our priorities. He said that more resources will be allocated for providing relief to the farmers and uplift of agri sector in next financial year’s budget.
Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government, first time in the history of Pakistan, has started programme of provision of interest-free loans for providing relief to small cultivators and a transparent mechanism has been adopted for its implementation. He said that right of small farmers has been given through provision of interest free loans of 100 billion rupees. Similarly, subsidy on fertilizer has given relief to the farmers in the real sense, he added.
He said that reduction in electricity tariff on agri tube-wells and availability of agri implements on concessionary rates has left positive impact on agri sector. He said that per acre agri production has increased with the implementation of historic Kisaan Package.
He said that Pakistan will progress with the prosperity of farmers and in view of this purpose; revolutionary steps have been taken for the promotion of agri sector and prosperity of farmers.
The Chief Minister said it is first time in the history of the province that interest-free loans are also being given to landless cultivators and farmer-friendly steps of the government will continue in future as well.
Provincial Ministers Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Naeem Akhtar Bhabha, Chief Secretary, Advisor Dr. Umer Saif, Chairman Planning & Development, secretaries and experts of concerned departments were also present on the occasion.